Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mini Queen of Tarts or Wee Jam Tarts

When I was young, there seemed to always be something in the fridge that was home-baked and sweet. These wee jam tarts were one of my favourites ! Mum usually made a batch of pastry, and made a variety of lovely little cakes and tarts......we were sooo lucky !!

I had some of the pastry left over from my Ecclefechan Butter Tart, it freezes great by the way ! 
These wee gems are made in mini muffin pans. The pastry is so deliciously crisp, crumbly and not too sweet, then filled with your favourite jam....I used Strawberry which I had at hand. These tarts are also amazing when filled with Lemon Curd !
Such a simple little treat which is great with a nice cup of tea !

Mini Queen of Tarts or Wee Jam Tarts

I had about 1/4 of the Pastry Recipe left over from my Ecclefechan Butter Tart which gave me enough to make one dozen mini Tarts.
It's great to make a whole batch of this pastry and split it into 2 to 4 portions. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap then a baggie and freeze for up to three months. Just take a batch out of the freezer when needed and defrost it in the refrigerator. 
Line mini muffin pans with about a walnut sized piece of dough, then fill with approx 1 teaspoon of your favourite jam. 
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. 
Allow tarts to cool slightly before removing them from the pans then transfer to a cooling rack.

Pastry Crust [Pate Sucree] 

Ingredients :

2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 cup[2 sticks] unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 large Egg yolks
1/4 cup ice Water
[I always add a pinch of salt to my pastry, it just seems to heighten the rich flavour]

Directions :

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and sugar. Add butter and process until mixture resembles course meal. 10 to 20 seconds.
In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks, add ice water. With machine running, add the egg mixture in a steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds.
To test, squeeze a small amount together; if it is crumbly, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready for use.

NOTE : Pastry can easily be made by hand - working very quickly, rub butter into flour until it resembles course meal. Make a well in the center, add the beaten eggs and ice water, quickly bring the dough together with your hands. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until use.

Now how about putting the kettle on for a nice wee cup of tea !!

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